In a recent Editorial in Medical Journal Australia Wodak calls for Australia drug policy reform based on Portugal “improved outcomes and declined problematic drug use” since decriminalization.
Drug decriminalization in Portugal is a failure despite of various reports like this one published all over the world pretending the opposite (1, 2).
There is a complete and absurd campaign of manipulation of Portuguese drug policy facts and figures, which Wodak appears to have fallen for. This is not the academic standard we expect from MJA.
As the Executive Office of the President Barak Obama Drug Control Policy, states (3)
“it is safe to say that claims by drug legalization advocates regarding the impact of Portugal’s drug policy exceed the existing scientific basis”.
Let´s focus on Nuno Miranda – a drug dependent Portuguese car parker, speech: “I am lucky to live in a society that has accepted the fact that drugs and addiction are part of life” (4)
By making drug consumption less difficult, drug dependents throughout the world become neglected, have shorter and more difficult lives and reproduce this poor situation to their children.
Do you want Australia to be populated by gentlemen like Nuno?
Kofi Annan definitively does not.
“Young people need models that may help them to find a positive way – a way without drugs. The eradication of drug abuse from our Planet is a giant task, but with the human organizations joint effort from all levels and the struggle of all, we can move forward to that direction” (5).
1. The figures related to the prevalence in the Portuguese population show that the percentage of people who have tried illicit drugs at least once in their lifetime increased from 7,8% (800 000 people) in 2001 to 12% (1,3 million) in 2007 (Portuguese ex- IDT 2008 November Activities Report).
2. “The highest mortality rates caused by HIV / AIDS among drug users were reported by Portugal, followed by Estonia, Spain, Latvia and Italy. In most other countries the rates are low” (EMCDDA, 2010 Annual Report).
3. DRUG DECRIMINALIZATION IN PORTUGAL: CHALLENGES AND LIMITATIONS- www.whitehouse.gov/…/portugal_fact_sheet_8-25-10.pdf
4. Specter M, Getting a Fix, The New Yorker, 2011 Oct; 17.
5. Annan K, International Day Against the Abusing and Illicit Traffic on Drugs. New